More stock makes more of a soup; this recipe produces something more like a stew as pictured.
You can leave out the ham for a fantastic vegetarian dish.
Serves: up to 8 as a starter, and 4 – 6 as a main course
- 1.5 litres chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 1 star anise (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- good grinding of black pepper
- 2 large red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
- 3 small onions, finely sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
- 2cm piece root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 300g yellow split peas
- 200g pearl barley
- 2 medium carrots, sliced into thick-ish rounds
- 1 small yellow pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 broccoli, stems roughly chopped and florets thickly sliced
- 250g roast ham, chopped or pulled into small bits (optional)
- dried or fresh thyme, to taste
- 1 tsp tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons runny honey, or to taste
- Large stockpot
- Bring the stock to the boil on the hob with the star anise (if using), bay leaves and ground black pepper. Add the chillies, onion, garlic and ginger.
- Once boiling again, add the split peas, barley and carrots. Bring to a rolling boil again, then drop to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add the pepper, broccoli, and roast ham (if using).
- Bring back to a rolling boil, then drop again to a simmer on a very low heat. Sprinkle on the thyme, and add the tomato puree and honey.
- Leave covered and simmering on the hob for up to 1 hour, stirring frequently, until the soup has thickened and the pulses and veg are tender. Discard the star anise and the bay leaves before serving.
Be adventurous and imaginative: any kind of dried pulse or split pea will do (ensure you pre-soak if instructed to do so on the packet), and any amount of roast ham to your taste. Try adding garam masala, sage, coriander, ground fennel seeds, or mustard … really, anything you like.